beyondblue Research in NSW shows some people still misinformed about depression
beyondblue CEO, Ms Kate Carnell AO says while beyondblue has made significant progress in raising awareness of depression and anxiety in NSW over the past decade, a recent Depression Monitor survey shows there is still a long way to go, with many people still gravely misinformed about depression and how to help someone.
When people in NSW were surveyed for beyondblue’s 2011- 2012Depression Monitor:
62% wrongly believed antidepressant medication is addictive
34% wrongly thought people with severe depression should ‘pull themselves together’
25% wrongly thought it would be helpful to take a person with depression to the pub for a few drinks to help
19 % wrongly thought it would be helpful to tell a depressed person to ‘put on a brave face and push on’
14% wrongly thought people with severe depression are weak-willed.
Ms Carnell said: “It seems that many people still don’t know depression is an illness which needs and responds to treatment, and still don’t know how to help themselves or someone else who may be struggling.
“This indicates we need to work harder to make people more aware of the signs and symptoms of depression. However, the good news for New South Wales is that while 63 per cent of survey respondents or their family members had experienced depression, 85 per cent of them had sought professional help for the condition.”
For the first time in eight years, the Board of beyondblue will meet in Sydney on Tuesday August 21, and the results of the Depression Monitor survey will be one of the topics for discussion at a lunch for key players in the NSW mental health sector to be hosted by beyondblue after the Board meeting.
beyondblue Ambassadors TV presenter, Jessica Rowe and lead singer of the Choir Boys, Mark Gable will also attend the lunch to share their personal stories of anxiety and depression.
On Monday evening, beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC will host a working dinner for Board members which will be attended by the NSW Minister for Health, The Hon. Jillian Skinner and Mr John Feneley, who is the newly-appointed inaugural Commissioner of the recently-established NSW Mental Health Commission.
Discussions will take place regarding how beyondblue can best work with the NSW Mental Health Commission around reducing stigma, targeting hard-to-reach populations, increasing help-seeking and further raising awareness that depression is a serious, but treatable condition.
The NSW Government has contributed funds to beyondblue since 2005. The importance beyondblue places on its relationship with NSW is demonstrated by having this meeting in Sydney in order to speak to members of government, major mental health agencies and other stakeholders.
Event: beyondblue Board Meeting
Locaton: Langham Hotel, Kent Street Sydney (formerly The Observatory)
Time/ Date: 9.00am Tuesday August 21, 2012- Interviews at 12.30 pm:
Chairman Jeff Kennett AC and CEO Kate Carnell AO
beyondblue Board Directors from NSW include former NSW Premier The Hon. Morris Iemma,and Dr Michael Bonning, Medical Officer in the Royal Australian Navy.